No. 18 Notre Dame 92, Wake Forest 69

Natalie Novosel scored a career-high 23 points and No. 18 Notre

Dame handed Wake Forest its first loss of the season, 92-69 on

Saturday in the WBCA Classic.

Novosel scored 15 of her points in the first half, when she was

8 for 8 from the free-throw line. Four other players scored in

double figures for the Irish (4-2), including Erica Solomon with 14

points, Devereaux Peters with 12, and Natalie Achonwa and Skylar

Diggins with 11 each.

”We need to do better than that when we get into Big East

play,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. ”My mother just told

me that I should be happy with this win, but I’m not.”

Lindsy Wright led Wake Forest (4-1) with 14 points while Secily

Ray added 13.

After breaking out to a 45-28 halftime edge, the Irish quickly

established a 26-point lead in the second half and coasted from

there. Their largest lead was 77-45 midway through the half.

”We just did not react very well to the moment,” Wake Forest

coach Mike Petersen said. ”Here we are playing in front of 8,294

people and we didn’t keep our composure very well.

”I’m not a silver-lining kind of guy, especially when we lose

by this much. We never had control of the tempo and Notre Dame

forced us to foul. That allowed Notre Dame to set up the 3/4-court

trap which depresses our tempo.”

Irish senior point guard Brittany Mallory returned to the lineup

after missing two games due to an injury sustained against UCLA and

added three points.

Novosel was one of the bright spots for Notre Dame, leading the

team in scoring for the second time this season. She had 21 points

against Kentucky.

”I’m still mad about that one free throw,” said Novosel, who

was 11 of 12 from the foul line along with 5 of 9 from the field.

”I had the mindset at the beginning of the year to come in and be

one of our top scorers. I think I am just trying to fit into

it.”